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Pets Get Poisoned Too

Pets Get Poisoned Too

What to do should your precious pet get poisoned, some of the common things pets get into and how to prevent this from happening

First Aid

What Should I Do?

If the animal is awake and alert:
  • Do NOT induce vomiting
  • If the product is corrosive or irritating, make water available
  • Call your local Poisons Center or Vet

If the animal is unconscious, having difficulty breathing, or having a seizure:
  • Take the animal to the vet immediately

What Else Should I Do?

When you call a Poisons Center or see a Vet, they will ask you a few questions about the poisoning.

Identify the poison
  • Empty containers
  • Chewed up material
  • Smells
  • Residue around the pets mouth
  • Fragments in the pets vomit
How much has the pet ingested
  • How much was in the container in the beginning?
  • How much is missing?
Establish if the pet has any symptoms -Animals can not tell us where it hurts, you will need to look carefully
  • Evidence of an upset stomach (vomit, not eating)
  • Excessive drooling
  • Weakness or excitement
  • Breathing rate
  • Body temperature

How Can I Prevent My Pet From Being Poisoned?

Pets needs supervision, just like young children. All the poisoning prevention tips for children, apply to pets too. Click here to read them.

What Are Pets Poisoned By?

Dogs are the most common pet that is poisoned. They will often eat large amounts of a toxic substance, without noticing an unpleasant taste. Dogs are most often poisoned by:
  • Rodenticides
  • Cyanide
  • Ant poison
  • Chocolate
  • 1080 (fluoroacetate)
  • Plants

Cats are most often poisoned by getting a substance on their fur or paws from walking or lying on surfaces, and then grooming themselves, thereby ingesting the poison. They can also drink sweet-tasting poisons, or be unintentionally poisoned by their owners. They are most often poisoned by:
  • Household cleaners, including corrosive products
  • Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
  • Ant poison
  • Paracetamol (acetaminophen)
  • Plants
  • The Lilium genus (certain types of lily)

Stock, like sheep, cattle, deer and horses are most often poisoned by eating poisonous plants, which are either growing in the same paddock, or mixed in with their feed.

Related Resources
National Poisons Centre: Poisonous Plants in New Zealand - A National Poisons Centre brochure detailing poisonous plant information as well as first aid and prevention information
Prevent Poisoning: Keeping Children Safe From Poisons - A brochure on general poisoning prevention information including home safety tips
Safety In Pre-School Centres: Plants to Avoid - A pamphlet listing a number of poisonous plants which should not be grown in pre-school centres

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University of Otago NZ National Poisons Centre

Last updated 11/03/2009

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